Barriers to Livelihood

Centre for Civil Society (CCS) is pleased to announce the Jeevika Law Competition on Barriers to Livelihood. The competition aims to document the existing barriers to livelihood in informal sector in India, the livelihood challenges being faced by urban and rural poor, identifying and bringing into light the policies, social, religious and cultural practices that prevent people from earning an honest living even if they are willing and able to do so.

This Law Competition is in the form of an essay competition involving reputed law colleges/universities of India targeting law students/researchers/teachers below 35 years of age. Participants can choose any one or more of the given occupations (subject to a maximum of two entries from each individual or group*) from the informal sector of the economy, explore the various dimensions of the occupation, and submit the work to CCS.

The top three entries will be awarded prizes of Rs. 25,000, Rs. 15,000 and Rs. 10,000 respectively and two additional entries will be awarded consolation prizes of Rs. 3000 each.

Suggestive list of occupations to be explored in essay:

  1. Street vending
  2. Domestic help
  3. Household industries
  4. Artisanship
  5. Waste picking
  6. Construction work
  7. Cycle Rickshaw pulling
  8. Auto Rickshaw driving
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The list given above is suggestive and not exhaustive. Participants have liberty to further narrow down their subject occupation/s. They can also explore a new occupation from the informal sector similar inline to list given above. However, participants must register their chosen occupation with CCS and get approval before starting to work on their essays.

Detailed structure of the essay: (Suggestive)

a) Summary of the work: 250-300 words (Mandatory)

b) Main text:

  • Introduction: 250-500 words, historical perspectives of the problem, empirical data or other such;
  • Interviews of 3 persons (minimum) making a living out of that profession. (Mandatory)
  • Identification of laws, regulations as well as social, religious and cultural practices applicable to the profession;
  • Analysis of the economic, social and cultural status of the profession and of the workers in the profession concerned;
  • Creative analysis of the issue with innovative comments;
  • Necessary suggestions for legal, regulatory as well as social and cultural reforms;
  • Conclusion with expert comments. (200 words-300 words)

Proper acknowledgement with citation of source is mandatory for any reference. The same may be given either as footnote or in the end of the essay.

Use of pictures, maps, graphs and tables is encouraged.

Order of the subheads is left to the choice of participants but ignoring any of them may result in disqualification.

Mode of submission:

All submissions may be emailed to or sent in hard copy to the following postal address:

Jeevika Law Competition
Centre for Civil Society
A-69, Hauz Khas
New Delhi – 110016
  • Submissions can be made in English or in Hindi.
  • The essay may not be longer than 10 pages and 5,000 words.
  • Essays are accepted in the following formats: .doc or .docx


  • Registration of Topic : till 31 January 2012. Click here to REGISTER.

  • Last date of submission of the essay: 31  March 2012

  • Results:  30 April 2012

Award ceremony: Dates will be announced on this website and also personally informed to the winners.

The winners of the essay competition and such other participants as may be recommended will be invited to take part in a national workshop in New Delhi followed by the award ceremony.  All invitees will be entitled to/reimbursed to the extent of return A.C. III fare and provided with food and accommodation.


  • Competition is open for individuals and groups*.
  • Participants will be required to get their topic of essay registered and get approval from CCS. To register click here.
  • Registration of Topics will remain open till 31 January 2012, change of topic is also permitted by that date, thereafter registration/change of topics will be considered only in exceptional cases.
  • A participant/group may submit a maximum of two essay entries subject to separate registration for each entry.
  • The competition is open to all law students/researchers/teachers upto 35 years of age.
  • Quotes and references must be clearly marked throughout the essay and properly cited & acknowledged.
  • All submissions must be original. Previously published material will not be accepted. Any form of plagiarism will result in automatic disqualification.
  • Staff (full time and part time) of Centre for Civil Society are not eligible to participate.
  • Only courts at New Delhi shall have jurisdiction to legal controversy, if any.
  • Centre for Civil Society reserves the right to publish and/or to make available to the public the winning submissions. Centre for Civil Society further reserves the right to modify the format and content of the submissions for publication purposes-print and online. All submissions would be copyright of Centre for Civil Society subject to special rights accruing to authors.

*Group: Group means co-authorship is permitted.

For any further clarification please write to or call on +91-9891491829